Jamie Fewery – Q&A


The Brink by Jamie Fewery was published by Legend Press on 4 May 2023.

Jamie kindly answered a few of my questions.

1. Tell us a little about The Brink.  

The Brink is about a couple going through divorce mediation. Dan and Anya have been together over a decade, they have two kids, made a home. But gradually their relationship has broken down, they’ve both been unfaithful and it’s all a bit of a mess. So they decide to end things, but want to do so in the kindest way possible. 

The book takes place over the two days of their mediation, in a lawyer’s office in London. And as they discuss each area of their life together the book skips back through their past, building an anatomy of a marriage. I hope it make for a funny read, but also quite an empathetic look at the complexity of marriage and family life. 

 2. What inspired the book? 

I’m generally interested in human relationships – the more complicated the better. All my books seem to involve people in various crises. This one really started with the characters. I had the idea for Dan and Anya, and started to build out the story from there. I don’t think there was really one thing that inspired it. More a desire to write something tender and true. 

In terms of other authors that inspire me. I love the work of writers like Carol Shield, Lorrie Moore, Nick Hornby, Katherine Heiny and David Nicholls. People who write really true, honest accounts of life, with a dose of wry humour. 

3. Do you plan before you start writing or do you sit down and see where the words take you? 

In this case, yes I did. I knew the book would have certain sections around family, money, home and that sort of thing. And that it would go back and forth in time. So I started with that structure and went from there. I also knew I wanted a big moment in the middle that throws the whole divorce into question, so I baked that in from the start. In the past, I’ve been a bit more fly by night in how I plan (by which I mean, not planning at all!) 

4. Is there anything about the process of publishing a book that still surprises you? 

I’ve seen the book publishing and buying process from so many points of view. I’ve been a bookseller, a publisher and a writer. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I often still am. Any time I get a nice review or a book of mine turns up in the media I’m stunned. I remember when my first book came out it was reviewed in The Sun and Heat Magazine, which was hugely surprising to me. 

My last publication was during the dark days of lockdown. And that again was all surprising, because all the things that are great about publishing books like meeting readers and going to bookshops weren’t possible. I’m looking forward to a more personable experience this time! 

5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?

I love to garden and cook – activities where I can be totally immersed in something. My day job is as a Creative Director for a marketing agency. So I spend a lot of time developing ideas and getting them down on paper. When I’m not doing that or writing books, I want to be as far away from a laptop screen as possible. So I’ll either be found digging around outside, cooking (and of course eating), or at my local non-league football ground. 

6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be? 

Tricky question. It would either be the Adrian Mole collection. They are my absolute favourite books. Funny, insightful, satirical. I love them. Or maybe something by PG Wodehouse – if I only had one book for the rest of time it would need to make me laugh. I was tempted to go for one of those big books that sit on my shelf unread like Ulysses, but better to be realistic! 

7. I like to end my Q&As with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer? 

I’m not sure exactly how I’d pose the question, but I rarely get asked about why authors get known for a certain type of book and find it hard to pivot away from it without writing under a pseudonym. You never get that with actors, musicians, film directors or even scriptwriters! 

I’d love the book industry to be more open to a writer of crime fiction, for example, turning to romance. Or a writer pigeonholed as ‘commercial’ (whatever that means) being more credibly seen as ‘literary’ (again, whatever that means). I find that writers get put in a genre box pretty early on, and it’s set for life. Baffling, because I don’t think readers think in those terms at all. 

About the Book

Dan and Anya Moorcroft have decided to get a divorce. Together, they’ve done it all. Two kids, three owned houses, four rented flats, fifty-something holidays, and one affair apiece. Now, after fifteen years together (nine of them married) they’re on the brink.

But as they go through couples’ mediation, revisiting and rediscovering their shared history in sessions surrounded by lawyers and paperwork, are they about to find something that’s worth saving? Or are they going to reaffirm their decision to end things for good?

Each section of the book is a focus area for the divorce mediation process: sex, home, money, family, us. Through this, the novel explores how marriage is built on bonds between people and the experiences they share. It goes back in time to reveal Dan and Anya’s past. And then returns to the present day as they work out their future.

You can buy a copy of the book here.

(This is an affiliate link so I may make a small amount should you purchase through it. You can also buy The Brink from your local independent bookshop.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.